Wednesday, April 11, 2007

NEPAD e-Schools ready for launch in South Africa

ALL is now set for the official commissioning of the New Economic Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) electronic schools (e-schools) initiative in South Africa.

Currently, African countries taking part in the demonstration include Nigeria, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Uganda and South Africa.

It would be recalled that this initiative was first announced in 2003 at the Africa Summit of the World Economic Forum in Durban, South Africa, tasking NEPAD e-Schools project to focus on providing end-to-end Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions that would connect schools across the continent, through NEPAD e-Schools network in addition with the Internet solutions as well as provision of content, learning material and the establishment of health points at schools.

Confirming this development, Communications Manager at NEPAD e-Africa Commission, Mr. Samuel Mikenga, said that South African Government, HP Consortium, Cisco Consortium, Oracle Consortium, and NEPAD e-Africa Commission, have joined hands for the successful launching of the NEPAD e-Schools demonstration project on April 17, 2007, at Maripe Secondary School in Mpumalanga Province.

He also said that the launch has been planned to cover six schools across South Africa, even as the country is the seventh country to launch the project after Uganda, Ghana, Lesotho, Kenya, Rwanda, and Egypt.

Mr. Mikenga noted that President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, has been slated to grace the occasion with his top cabinet ministers, diplomats, development partners and private sector representatives.

The NEPAD e-Schools initiative is a project under the auspices of the NEPAD e-Africa Commission, the ICT task team responsible for developing the NEPAD ICT programme and implementing related projects.

In each of the participating countries, the programme aims to transform African secondary schools into NEPAD e-Schools within five years of implementation commencement date and all African primary schools within 10 years of implementation starting date.

Entirely, over 600,000 schools across the continent are expected to benefit from the project and its aligning ICT values, while connectivity would be established to the NEPAD e-Schools via satellite network.

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